Fox's Star India Strikes Exclusive Deal for HBO Originals

Game of Thrones Feast - H 2015
Helen Sloan/Courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones Feast - H 2015

The TV giant gets access to such shows as 'Game of Thrones' and 'True Detective,' which previously aired on the HBO Defined channel in India that will be discontinued.

Fox-owned Indian TV giant Star India and Time Warner's HBO have inked a programming deal, which will see such HBO shows as Game of Thrones, True Detective, Silicon Valley, Veep and Leftovers air exclusively on Star starting in January.

The pact also covers forthcoming HBO original series Westworld and Vinyl, directed by Martin Scorsese, which will premiere Feb. 14. The shows will air on Star's English channels and its digital platform hotstar.

The agreement also covers HBO library shows, such as Entourage, Band  of Brothers, The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

“HBO is delighted to enter this new chapter in India with Star," said HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink. "Through the first release of our shows on hotstar, Indian audiences will now have unprecedented flexibility in how they consume HBO's much-loved premium programming.” 

Said Star India CEO Uday Shankar: "Star is delighted to partner with HBO to bring world-class HBO Originals programming to Indian viewers. Star will become the exclusive destination for screening HBO content in India — once again resetting the benchmark for quality and depth of content offering for its viewers. Fans will be able to watch their favorite HBO Original programs on hotstar on the same day as the telecast in the United States. Viewers will also be able to see the HBO Original programming on Star’s English channels.”

In 2013, HBO launched two ad-free channels in India, HBO Defined and HBO Hits, in partnership with Indian entertainment company Eros International. HBO Defined aired such series as Game of Thrones, while the film-oriented HBO Hits offered titles from studios, including Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and HBO Films, among others. The Eros-HBO partnership ended in April.

According to a statement, HBO Defined will be discontinued on Dec. 31, while HBO Hits will be relaunched as HBO HD in the first quarter of 2016. In India, HBO is part of Turner International's English entertainment portfolio, which also includes the WB channel, news joint venture CNN-IBN and kids channels Cartoon Network, Pogo and Toonami.